The Stranger Manual

Overview

Catie Rosemurgy's second collection, The Stranger Manual, is a wild rush across the American grain. The poems follow an unlikely character named Miss Peach, an unpredictable, cartoonish shapeshifter, who emerges onto the page dragging the myth of the individual, various gender scripts, and the grand tradition of the poetic persona along with her. She becomes an outsider, a hero, an intruder, a rock star. The town around her, Gold River, is also always in flux—part center and part mirage. The Stranger Manual ...

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Overview

Catie Rosemurgy's second collection, The Stranger Manual, is a wild rush across the American grain. The poems follow an unlikely character named Miss Peach, an unpredictable, cartoonish shapeshifter, who emerges onto the page dragging the myth of the individual, various gender scripts, and the grand tradition of the poetic persona along with her. She becomes an outsider, a hero, an intruder, a rock star. The town around her, Gold River, is also always in flux—part center and part mirage. The Stranger Manual celebrates the fractious nature of self and society in poems that are fabulist, speculative, and alluring.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rosemurgy's oddball second book is spoken in the voice of a quirky alter-ego named “Miss Peach,” who says about herself, “There is a cartoon about everything/ I've ever done.” Indeed her adventures are rife with Loony Tunes–like hyperbole and darkly comic violence. Miss Peach speaks with the self-deprecating vigor of an angsty teenager, but with the wisdom of someone who's lived a bit. We follow her through her days, going shopping (“...Miss Peach has a spring catalog for a To Do list, and she moves her legs/ like a prodigy”), looking after her health (one of Rosemurgy's many lengthy titles reads “Miss Peach Seeks Treatment at the Rural Health Care Walk-in Clinic”) and attending college, where, “he kissed me as if to apologize.” Her self-flagellating confessions—which are often wordy and prose-like—amusingly, and beautifully, bear the burden of off-center insight that is the result of experience and pain: “...Having a flowering core/ ...hurts in the way that being flower-like always hurts,// which is to say sexually, as if the whole self/ has exceeded the skin, which it hasn't, which means// we always seem to be opening but never do.” (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555975470
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 12/22/2009
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 94
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Catie Rosemurgy is the author of the poetry collection My Favorite Apocalypse. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Rona Jaffe Award. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and teaches at the College of New Jersey.

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